Hip Hop Hooray!
06/12/2011 09:53 PM Filed in: Blog
I love observing how companies go through transitions. It's funny to see how they try to change their identity and focus. Even before I owned a brick and mortar business, sold retail goods, or even before I became incorporated, I liked to watch companies try to change with the rolling tide. Mainly Video game companies, computer companies, guitar companies, and car companies. I find it interesting how the same companies that make good decisions and wind up with a killer product can turn right around and make an idiotic move for the worse.
In the last ten years, I've seen Microsoft loose millions on an investment in Rare (which I predicted back on October 4th, 2002). Luckily for Microsoft (and the Xbox) they invested in another small Apple software developer called Bungie. I mean hey... Halo made me eat my words and I even bought an Xbox. In this decade I've seen GM lose their shirt and rebound, and recently I've seen Washburn Guitars go from a thriving company to a guitar company that's bleeding money with absolutely no identity. It's a shame. The second oldest guitar company in the United States doesn't know who they are. Nor do they make a single Washburn guitar in the USA.
Today I noticed that our local Applebee's was taking their old sign and logo down and rebranding the company with a new "hipper" logo and brand. On their sign, it reads "Jamin J Every Thursday Night Starting at 10".
I don't know about you, but Applebee's is not exactly the place I go to get "crunk". It makes me wonder what the hell the CEOs at Applebee's headquarters are thinking. How many people really want to go to Applebee's for the late night PAAAAAARRRRTAAAY? It's like going to a great steakhouse and ordering their chicken fingers. It's just not something you do.
Speaking of Apples...
Apple is a company with it's ups and downs. They were one of the first companies to come out with a PDA (the Newton in 1992) and it was a little ahead of its time. Some of the software was clunky but the operations and basic principles paved the way for the future of PDAs like Palm and many that followed. In Apple's defense, they were right. Just really, really early. Four years early in fact. In the technology business (like most) it's about timing. The trouble is, four years is a long time in the tech industry--it's like being 20 years early in any other industry.
In 1996 I bought my first Mac. In 1997 I considered buying Apple stock. I could get it for $8.00 a share. I was pretty close to going to a bank and asking for an eight thousand dollar loan just to buy a thousand shares. Of course, I didn't have any money and it wasn't like the bank was going to lend it to me anyway. Then Steve Jobs came back to the company, they invented the iMac, iTunes, iPod, and of course....the iPhone. The $8,000 investment would have been worth $451,000 today. Ouch. Should've found a way to get that one.
I'm glad Apple stayed on their original course to this day. I owned a few Palm devices since I couldn't get a Newton. I liked the Palm until it came time for software updates. One time, I updated my operating system and my palm pilot didn't work for seven months. This is when I really started hoping Apple would make a working PDA again. Palm had all but run Apple out of the PDA business. It was Palm One--Apple Zero.
Well... until the iPhone...
Have you seen any Palm Pilots in people's mittens these days? Didn't think so. Apple's Queen to Pawn's King--Check Mate.